Garages can get a bit overly uncomfortable in winter because this part of our homes is not designed to stay warm. A garage is typically an extra home space or extension used to store unwanted items and park vehicles. As a result, they are constructed using concrete that lacks insulation to retain warmth.
However, if you keep a heating source in your garage, the concrete construction, having thermal mass, will retain heat to make the area livable.
But why would people heat a garage?
Well, some individuals revamp their garage as a home gym or use this space for other day-to-day activities, like opening a workshop in the garage space. So, when you spend a lot of time in your garage, it becomes necessary to generate heat and make it comfortable in the icy season.
This write-up will shed light on the most suitable sources to heat a garage and whether or not you should keep a heater on all night in the garage. Moreover, you’ll also get to know a few safety tips that will help keep your home and your family safe while using a heating source in the garage. Keep reading to grab all the crucial information.
Can You Put a Space Heater in Garage?
Yes, space heaters are one of the best ways to heat a garage. Modern space heaters are designed with safety features that make these devices one of the most used heating sources.
You can comfortably use a space heater for your garage as these are portable, easy to carry, and much more economical than their counterparts. However, the ability of the space heater to heat the entire space depends on the size of your garage and the place you put a space heater in garage.
Therefore, if you use a space heater with appropriate power according to the garage size and position it perfectly, this heating device will evenly distribute heat to make your garage cozy and comfortable.
Can I Use An Electric Space Heater in a Garage?
Yes, you can definitely use electric space heaters to heat the garage. The primary concern related to using an electric heater in the garage would be the availability of the electric circuit that could handle that load. If you think your garage is equipped with the required circuit, you are good to go.
Electric heaters are available in different forms and capacities. For example, you can choose from a 120-volt portable plug-in heating device to a 240-volt radiant overhead heater. Besides, you also have a permanent baseboard heater in option.
Electric heaters are incredibly convenient, portable, quiet, and clean as they need no chimneys or vent pipes to heat a space. Furthermore, these heaters are inexpensive, but they come at the cost of high electricity bills.
So, you can use an electric heater in garage but you should be careful about the power bill. Use them as an alternative only when you don’t have access to other inexpensive heat sources.
What Kind Of Heater is Safe For A Garage?
Heating a garage using a space heater isn’t as simple as heating a room. Therefore, you should be particular about choosing a space heater for the garage. We have lined up a few options to simplify your search.
Electric Heating Options
Convection space heaters are one of the safest options to heat a garage as they warm up the air in the room to make the environment comfortable. These heaters use convection currents, which cause the cool air to fall and warm air to rise.
Convection heaters are safer than their counterparts as most of them are designed with an auto cut-off feature that switches off the heater as soon as it reaches the required temperature or tips over. Ceramic heaters, electric baseboard heaters, and plug-in radiators are some of the most commonly used examples of convection heaters.
Radiant space heaters
Radiant heaters do not heat the air but are designed to heat objects in their surrounding area. So, if you are using your garage for a prolonged period, you can place radiant space heaters near you to feel toasty.
Radiant heaters are best if you need a quick solution to the winter chills. However, they come with a lot of risks because you’ll have to keep these heating devices closer to your body. For instance, you have a higher chance of knocking off the heater and burning your skin. In addition, there’s also a risk of fire as the garage is most likely to be filled with flammable objects (trash) that can catch fire instantly.
Liquid Fuel and Gas Heaters
Freestanding Space Heaters
Freestanding space heaters are designed to burn inexpensive propane or kerosene, which makes them one of the best options to heat a garage. These heating devices work best for small-size garages, especially insulated ones. However, these liquid fuel heaters also release carbon monoxide into the air, which can cause suffocation at its worst.
Therefore, you’ll have to be excessively alert while using the freestanding liquid fuel heater in the garage.
Direct-vent space heaters
Using the direct-vent space heater will be the best option if your home is already piped for a direct supply of propane or natural gas. These heaters are designed to exchange combustion air while exhausting toxic fumes through the pipe in the wall. As a result, the dangerous carbon monoxide gas gets propelled out of the room.
These heating devices are one of the safest and the most convenient options if you’re already using propane or natural gas for a furnace, stove, or gas fireplace.
Can You Leave Space Heater On All Night in Garage?
No, you should never leave a space heater on all night in the garage or any other place in your home.
The manufacturers of modern space heaters claim that these devices are absolutely safe as they come with enhanced safety features like auto-shut off, tip-over protection, adjustable thermostat, shutoff timer, etc. These safety features ensure protection from fire hazards to a certain extent, but they do not claim 100% security from fire accidents.
Therefore, considering the statistics on fire accidents, you should never leave a space heater on all night unattended.
Is It Safe To Use Space Heater In Garage?
Yes, it is safe to use space heaters in the garage. Using the space heaters to heat a garage is absolutely safe, provided you are well educated about the safety precautions. For instance, you should ensure that your garage is properly ventilated and you follow the safety guidelines mentioned by the heater manufacturing company.
On the other hand, it is also crucial to use the right heater size so that you don’t end up overheating your room, which can lead to a potential fire hazard.
What Happens If You Put a Space Heater in a Garage?
Most of the time, garages are over-occupied with extra materials, and it is also the place for all the family-owned vehicles. In addition, people usually dump all the unused stuff in the garage space, which makes it over-cluttered and more prone to fire accidents. So, let’s understand what can happen when you use a space heater in your garage.
When garages are used for other things beyond just dumping extras and parking vehicles, people feel the need to heat this space in chilly weather. Many individuals set up their garage as a home gym or convert it into a workshop to make more out of the extra space. These people use space heaters to heat the area, which might lead to fire accidents in the worst-case scenario. Vehicles in the garage make it even riskier, as even the slightest fire accident could worsen if a car gets caught in it.
Most garages don’t have a proper electric circuit that could bear the load of space heaters. This is when the risk of a short-circuit multiplies. A little spark out of the electric circuit can catch fire and burn all the trash or unused products you might have dumped in your garage.
Space heaters should always be used under strict supervision, especially in the garage area. One slight negligence, and you can get burned. Therefore, you should always keep the fire extinguishing material handy.
Safety Tips: Things to Know Before Using A Space Heater In a Garage
It is a great idea to use a space heater in garage to warm up the space. However, you must be extra cautious to protect your home and loved ones from potential fire hazards. So, for those planning to use space heaters in the garage, we have come up with a few safety tips that’ll help you stay harmless.
Give it room
The first and foremost tip that demands your attention is the space where you put your space heater. It is vital to give enough room to the space heater and keep it at a 3-foot distance from other flammable objects present in the room. So, while using a space heater in a garage, make sure to vacate the surrounding space to avoid fire accidents.
Plug the space heater directly into the circuit as extension cords might overheat the device. In addition, you should also check if the plug is fitted properly into the outlet or not.
Watch the cord
Make sure to collect the cord and tuck it on one side so that nobody steps on it. Also, do not run the cables under the carpet or other pieces of furniture, as this may ignite a fire and cause excessive harm.
Check for water
Never touch an electric heater with wet hands or feet. Furthermore, you should avoid keeping liquids near the heater as it might result in electric shocks. So, keep the little things in mind to prevent bigger hazards.
Keep it on a flat surface
Never put a space heater on uneven surfaces, as this multiplies the chances of the device knocking down, increasing the risk of fire.
So, look for an even or flat surface to place the heater and vacate the surrounding area to maintain a safe environment for running the heater. Furthermore, you should be mindful about not putting the heaters near the door or other cluttered areas.
Don’t leave it unattended
Never leave the space heater on in your absence. So, switch off the heater whenever you go out of your garage or off to sleep. Leaving the heater unattended is already known to be one of the primary reasons for major fire accidents that happened in the past.
Unplug the heater
Make it a habit to unplug the heater or other electronic devices when not in use. This is important not just from the safety point of view but it is also vital to conserve energy.
It might not sound sane to heat the entire garage space using a space heater. Therefore, you should focus on heating the area you use the most. On the other hand, if you are using your garage for prolonged hours daily, you should focus on insulating the space so that the space heater can work effectively.
The most important part is safety, which calls your attention when you use a space heater in the garage. So, you can keep your garage space warm throughout the chilly season, provided you follow all the safety tips religiously.